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Did You Know…

It may surprise you to learn that the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house. After all, kitchens have ovens, burners and knives, and garages have vehicles, hot water heaters and all kinds of tools that could cause injury.

But the bathroom is worse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(1). Think about it – the surfaces are porcelain, fiberglass, tile and vinyl. When they get wet, they can be slippery. You are often in bare feet. Throw rugs or dropped towels and washcloths can move when you step on them. And soap and shampoo increase the probability that your skin will slide when it comes in contact with any of those smooth surfaces.

More than 800,000 people a year are hospitalized from injuries they got in a fall(2), and of those, 300,000 are seniors who have broken a hip(3). Many others have suffered traumatic brain injuries or other broken bones. And more falls happen in the bathroom than in any other room. Worst of all, most of those falls – as well as the ensuing pain, medical costs and loss of independence – are preventable.

Why do injuries from falls increase as we age? The explanations are logical when you think about it. Our bones lose density and our muscles are not as strong as they were when we were younger, so we are weaker overall. (Many wrist, arm and elbow breaks come from trying to catch ourselves as we fall, so both upper body and lower body strength is involved.)

Our vision might be poorer, so we don’t see a puddle, or a white washcloth that fell onto a white tile floor. We may have some difficulty with balance, either organically or caused by prescription medicines that we take. And because our bones may be more brittle, a fall that might have just bruised us at age 40 could send us to the emergency room and the rehabilitation hospital with broken bones when we are seniors.

These are the reasons that we make Designed for Seniors walk – in tubs.

Our Safety Benefits

With a walk-in tub, you will never again have to balance yourself as you step over the wall of a tub when you are getting in or out. Instead, a door in the side opens to allow you access. You will never have to support your own weight as you lower yourself into or lift yourself out of the water; instead, you are settled comfortably on a raised seat (which is ADA-compliant at 17 inches). Our double-latching door is leak-proof, which means no water will get on your floor. And your footing is steadier – you just walk in or walk out (over a deliberately low threshold).

In addition, Designed for Seniors tubs have built-in anti-scald temperature protection, non-skid surfaces on the seat and the floor, and grab bars placed where you need them. The ability to hold on to a sturdy, non-movable support bar when you are changing positions or transferring your weight in a tub is an important safety feature. (In recommendations as to how to make your bathroom safe, AARP recommends grab bars, anti-scald devices and seats in the bath or shower(4). The home renovation program This Old House echoes those recommendations and also adds step-in access and a hand-held showerhead, both of which our tubs have(5).

But let’s talk about some other benefits a walk-in tub brings. If you only take showers because baths seem too dangerous, a walk-in tub allows you to soak in warm water again, easing the aches of your muscles (arthritis, fibromyalgia and low back pain in particular)(6) and helping you relax. Remember how contented you felt when you could soak in a tub of water at the right temperature? It’s soothing and it’s therapeutic, and you shouldn’t have to give it up.

Our tubs also are equipped with 16 gently massaging air jets and 8 fully adjustable hydrotherapy jets, which allow you to target sore areas of your body with warm pulses of water. (Hydrotherapy also may help you relieve stress and sleep better.)

(1 ) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nonfatal Bathroom Injuries Among Persons 15 and Older
(2 ) CDC, Costs of Falls Among Older Adults
(3 ) CDC, Important Facts about Falls
(4 ) AARP, Bathroom Checklist
(5 ) This Old House, 6 Ideas for Elder-Friendly Design
(6 ) Arthritis Foundation, Warm Water Works Wonders on Pain